Eric Perkins is leaving KARE 11 after 25 years at the Twin Cities NBC affiliate.
Perkins, one of the most recognizable faces in Minnesota broadcasting, made the shocking announcement Wednesday morning on social media. His last day will be Aug. 8, the final day of the Tokyo Olympics.
"It’s with gratitude that I announce my decision to say goodbye to KARE," he wrote. "I’m so thankful to all the viewers who have joined me on this journey for the past 25 years. But the time is right for me to find a new path that allows for new opportunities and more time with my family."
Perkins began at KARE in 1996 and quickly jumped into local stardom with his popular "Perk at Play" segments. In 2012 he was promoted to the station's sports director role, in addition to becoming the weeknight sports anchor. Prior to that he had been KARE's weekend sports anchor while co-anchoring a Saturday telecast.
In a YouTube video, Perkins further explained his decision to leave.
"I've been a quarter of a century," he said. "Wow. It has been an amazing gig."
Perkins added: "There's no scandal here. There's no drama involved in this exit. I just need a change. I want to grow and that hasn't been happening here for me lately. I want to extend myself again, I want to push myself again."
He said working at home for a year during the pandemic opened his eyes to how much of his family's lives he was missing while working the 2 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. shift.
What's next? "I honestly don't know."
"Something tells me I'll probably be providing content in some form on some platform. And I'm always going to be Perk at Play. You can always count on that, I'm just going to be playing somewhere else," he said.